December 3, 2009

Identify San Antonio’s Mystery Tracks!

Okay, look, there are tracks found last month associated (rather loosely, it seems) with the ongoing, current sightings of a hairy, apparently bipedal creature in the San Antonio, Texas area. Unbelievably, as well, the coincidence of Tom Slick’s Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research facility is interwoven into this new angle of this story.

Time to take some Cryptomundo guesses as to what animal the tracks match.

Here is a photo tied to the recent incidents:

Muddy prints were left on a trash bin by a mystery animal that has been wandering the property at JD’s Paint and Body Shop, San Antonio, Texas.

According to Valentino Lucio of the San Antonio Express-News, an unidentified hairy animal has been seen around a far West Side (San Antonio) body shop.

Workers at JD’s Paint and Body Shop on Wednesday, December 2, 2009, released a murky video that shows what appears to be a hairy animal the workers say has been foraging around their trash bin for several weeks now.

Southwest Foundation

In 2006, Craig Woolheater and Loren Coleman are shown while conducting on-site investigations of the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research, founded by Tom Slick. Below, rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta), which are noted as “baboons” by some, were visible in the open air cages. (Strictly speaking, there are five accepted species of baboons in the genus Papio.) The biomedical research facilities have the world’s largest colony of breeding rhesus monkeys. When we visited the San Antonio site of this large compound on Sunday, June 4, 2006, it was well-guarded with heavy barbed wire, and posted to have sentry dogs and intensive security. It is not your usual tourist stop.

Southwest Foundation

Lucio continued…

Fidel Amaton, who is a technician at the body shop, was the first to see the animal early in October 2009 as he was throwing trash into the bin behind the shop. Amaton said it was early in the morning and he still was rubbing the sleep from his eyes when he was startled by what appeared to be a monkey that jumped out of the bin.

He said that unlike the 6-foot-tall “Bigfoot” sighted near Loop 1604, this animal was about 3 feet tall. It bared its teeth and let out a high-pitched hiss before it scaled the fence to the neighboring business.

“I was freaked out because I wasn’t expecting to see that early in the morning,” he said. “I just backed up slowly and when it left, I ran inside to tell the guys what I saw.”

He was sure the animal was not a raccoon or a possum, and “the movement it had looked like a monkey.”

Joe Duarte, the shop’s owner, and his brother, Adrian, went to look for the animal, but all they found were prints about five inches long.

“We didn’t know what to think,” Joe Duarte said.

But he did wonder if the animal could have escaped from the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research, which keeps baboons on hand and is located just north of the shop at Loop 410 and Texas 151.

The two immediately called the foundation. Adrian Duarte, the shop’s manager, said that a few hours later, two individuals showed up to inspect the prints. He said the men told them they resembled a baboon’s print.

Foundation officials said Wednesday they don’t know what it is but they do know it’s not theirs.

Ty May, a veterinary resource manager at the foundation who’s familiar with the incident, said it’s not conclusive that the prints found at the business were from any type of primate. May said the research center was “not missing any animals and have not confirmed a sighting of any kind.” Worried about what kind of animal might be foraging from their trash bin, the Duartes set up a video camera to get a better look at the animal.

“I’m cautious to walk over there,” Adrian Duarte said. “I mean, I want to see him, but then again I don’t. Those animals can be dangerous.”

Still, they left food on top of the trash bin, including a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, to try and lure the animal out.

The dimly lit and fuzzy footage shows some type of animal climb atop the bin, grab the sandwich and jump back down — all in a fluid motion. But the video camera is too far back, making it hard to clearly make out any of the animal’s features.

So the guys at the body shop called the Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation center in Kendalia for a second opinion. On Wednesday, Katie Birk, an animal caretaker at the rescue, went to the shop to see the video.

Her initial reaction was a large smile and a laugh.

“You got a little monkey friend on your hands,” Birk said chuckling. She said the creature was “agile” and it’s movements resembled an animal “not native to the area.”

The Duartes showed Birk the evidence they had collected, including the prints and tufts of hair. Birk guessed the animal could be a macaque, a primate mostly located in Asia.

Although a macaque isn’t as aggressive as a baboon, Birk said that if anyone comes across the monkey, they should walk away, go inside somewhere and wait for it to go away.

Lynn Cuny, the founder of the nonprofit wildlife rescue, said they haven’t received any other calls about a monkey in the area, but would help capture the animal. She said while it’s not common, they occasionally will capture exotic animals that people have illegally tried to keep as pets.

She said if the animal is captured, it could live at the 200-acre sanctuary, where they have nearly 200 primates.

It has now been nearly two weeks since the Duartes last saw the hairy creature.

As for Bigfoot, well, police aren’t convinced it’s the real deal.

“She had seen what appeared to be a 6-foot-3 or larger creature covered with fur or hair, and had a very foul odor,” San Antonio Police Department spokeswoman Romana Gutierrez said of Monday’s report. “It ran toward the water tower, past 1604, carrying a deer. I know there are a lot of hunting areas out that way… maybe it was a hunter.”

The muddy tracks on the trash bin are visible at the end of this WOAI video:

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

Filed under Abominable Snowman, Animal Escapees, Bigfoot, CryptoZoo News, Eyewitness Accounts, Footprint Evidence, Men in Cryptozoology, Yeti